Even though the Chicago Cubs elected to sign Kris Bryant to a one-year, $19.5 million deal this offseason, there are still rumors that he could be moved out of the city where he has spent the entirety of his six-year career.
According to ESPN's Buster Olney, one Cubs official thinks the third baseman could head to the New York Mets or the Toronto Blue Jays.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the Mets have been in conversation with the Cubs about the 29-year-old, while the Blue Jays are rumored to have discussed a move that would have brought Bryant and Kyle Hendricks north of the border.
Both teams have already made major moves this offseason. The Blue Jays signed outfielder George Springer to a six-year deal, while the Mets—who have been directed by new owner Steve Cohen to spend like "a major-market team," added former Cleveland star Francisco Lindor.
As for what Bryant wants, it's mostly for the speculation to end. He said last week that he was struggling to have fun amid constant rumors about his future.
"It really got to me sometimes," he said on the Red Line Radio podcast (h/t Jesse Rogers of ESPN). "The stuff I was hearing. The first trade rumors [in 2018] that started to pop up really got to me. I find myself [thinking,] 'Man is this even fun anymore? Why did I start playing this game?' Because it was fun."
Bryant struggled last year, hitting just .203 amid injuries, but he has consistently proven himself to be one of the best players in whatever league he's played in. Per Rogers, he is the only player to win college player of the year, minor league player of the year, Rookie of the Year and MVP in four straight seasons.
Amid uncertainty in his production and his future, perhaps a move out of Chicago is the best thing for Bryant heading into his seventh year in the league.